Susanna Barkataki doesn’t feel safe doing yoga in the presence of white people.
She laments that most yoga classes, at least those known to her, are white-majority contexts.
She does not specify any gesture, any expression, any mannerism, any remark; anything about the physical environment or layout of the place; that has made her feel unsafe or unwelcome.
I’ve never done yoga. I’m skeptical about it. Nonetheless, the yoga class at my church has apparently been one of the most popular and helpful classes we offer. Maybe the yoga movement generally needs to do more in terms of intentional inclusivity, with ice-breaker and team-building exercises.
My pastor remarked months ago that our yoga instructor needed to do more toward relationship-building — which is a focal facet of our intentional ministry. Apparently, she was allowing students to finish her course just as much strangers as they were when they began. I have had only one brief contact with her, in an incidental small group setting, and she impressed me as much lacking in the basic human warmth I’d see as essential to the success of any instructor in our context.
Decades ago, when my congregation intentionally chose the path of racial diversity, my pastor at the time warned me that this would probably kill any real chance at significant growth; “people like us” being a central tenet of the church growth movement at the time. The fact is that, of my generation, most people, regardless of color, will not voluntarily worship in the presence of any significant number of folk of a different ethnicity.
What we have here is a visceral discomfort with people not-like-me. Political correctness encourages the open expression of such discomfort on the part of some persons, but censures it on the part of others. Not until we are all free to talk about it openly, honestly, will justice obtain.
Related: Honest conversations about race?
Remarkably accomplished for a young man.
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Wednesday 2015-10-28. I need not link to anything here, as anyone can Google on “Spring Valley High School” and get jillions of hits. My Yahoo! News feed captured at least a dozen headlines on this event yesterday, and again today. It’s become a media obsession.
Missing from the discussion has been any consideration of the student’s conduct before things got physical. How did that officer get in the classroom to start with? I have read that the student was being “disruptive.” And that she refused to leave the classroom when told to do so. Should no intervention have occurred?
Related: I can’t believe they did this.
Originally posted 2015-11-16.